The latest project from Benjamin Paquette is something a devoted cinephile can appreciate and the average movie-lover can still enjoy.
Appealing to both crowds is a challenge, but it's one Paquette is eager to tackle as he grows as a director.
“It's not so experimental it's abstract,” he said. “I would like to think other people would find it interesting.”
What makes Perspective unique is the extended timeline the homegrown filmmaker plans to take in completing it. It will take the next four to eight years, and the next four to eight editions of Cinéfest, to complete the feature-length film.
Between now and then, Paquette will be screening 10- to 20-minute “chapters” of the film at each Cinéfest. By the time it's complete, all the characters will have naturally aged, technology will have advanced and times will simply have evolved.
“We've never spread production over this long,” said Jason Jallet, the film's producer. “There are inevitables you can't (control) spread out over eight years.”
Along with the challenge of time, Paquette and Jallet also had to figure out how to make the film worth viewing more than once.
Since audiences will be watching each installment of the film as it comes out, as well as the ones that have already been screened, Paquette said the challenge was to create something that was enjoyable to watch more than once.
I would like to think other people would find it interesting.
“There's a lot more than what you first see,” Jallet said.
If that's not enough, the entire process is done with the added element of students from Thorneloe University's Motion Picture Arts program, where Paquette teaches.
Each professional working on the crew was shadowed by a student, who learned first-hand the ins and outs of making a movie. Students were responsible for getting involved throughout the entire process.
“What we're trying to form are film artists,” Paquette said. “Everything is theory until you do it.”
Rev. Dr. Robert Derrenbacker, president of Thorneloe, said the firsthand experience is what students need.
“The film production course is one of several courses that comprise the film production curriculum within the Bachelor of Fine Arts program,” he said.
“Students have an exceptional opportunity to work on a real production to see how it all comes together.”
According to Paquette, many of the students who helped put together the first chapter have went on to find their niche within film production, and actually found work doing what they want to be doing.
The film includes performances by local actors Stéphane Paquette, Pandora Topp and Patricia Tedford. Cinematographer Ivan Gekoff worked on the project, Joseph Kabbach did production design and Daniel Bédard was responsible for the soundscape.
It's the story of a “love triangle,” something everyone can relate to, according to Paquette. It's a “romantic drama revolving around the lives of three people.”
The first chapter of Perspective screens at Cinéfest Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m.
Paquette and Jallet will be available afterward for a question and answer session. For more information about the festival, or to pick up tickets, visit cinefest.com.